Of our 600 varieties, we are mostly seeds that grow in pods, but we can also be a tuber or a sprout. We can be used fresh or dried. Usually our pods are not edible but in some instances they are. We are a potent nutrient source though not complete. When combined with a grain we become a first-class protein and an excellent selection for vegetarian cookery. In this form we provide all the essential amino acids essential to a complete balanced protein. We are also a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. We combine well with other ingredients and flavorings because we do not have a very strong taste of our own. You will often find me mingling with garlic, tomatoes, oil, and other flavorings to keep me in good taste. Many of our heirloom varieties are enjoying a comeback in fine dining. As an agricultural crop, we can restore depleted soil through bacteria living symbiotically in our roots. We absorb nitrogen from the air, and the bacteria fix it in the soil. Best with rice, in stir-fries or soups.

1010 Produce Quiz courtesy of:
Richard Leibowitz
Culinary Specialty Produce
"We Follow Orders"

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The answer to last week's quiz: AKEBIA (Chocolate Vine)
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